Increase the Effectiveness of Your Donor Communications with Website Analytics

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Donor Communications with Website Analytics

Pamela Lee is a current GlobalGiving Ambassador for the US West Coast. Our amazing Ambassadors are individuals who work at one of our nonprofit partners that apply to represent GlobalGiving in their respective countries for a year. They foster and grow their nonprofit community through activities such as hosting workshops, meet-ups of local GlobalGiving partners, and conducting site visits. Pamela shared the following insights with us. 

How can we most effectively communicate to new potential donors?  A central tenet of today’s marketing is “test and learn”. A case study shows what one can learn from two tools: GlobalGiving’s Website Analytics and bit.ly.

Background

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue entered the 2015 GlobalGiving Photo Contest with two financial objectives: to win the contest’s $1000 cash prize and, as importantly, to increase the number of future potential donors.

Mickaboo also wanted to learn how well Facebook would perform vis-à-vis email blasts.

The Photo Contest ran from August 3 – August 7, 2015. Email addresses were added to GlobalGiving projects in the contest if voters completed GlobalGiving’s email address verification process.

Tool Setup

Mickaboo created a bitlink (at bit.ly) both to shorten the voting URL and to allow click-through measurement.  The latter attribute makes bitlinks better than those created by tinyurl.com, another commonly used URL-shortening tool.

GlobalGiving’s Website Analytics needed no setup; it’s available to all GlobalGiving projects via the “Website Analytics” link at the bottom of the Project Entry Dashboard.

During the Contest

Prospective voters were solicited via email blasts using Mickaboo’s internal emailing system, Mickaboo’s website blogs, GlobalGiving project report emails, Facebook posts (some of which were promoted) and tweets. Only one email (delivered either by Mickaboo or GlobalGiving) was sent per day.

The Results

Mickaboo did not place high enough to win the cash prize. However, its potential donor base increased by about 550, or almost 20%. Mickaboo also received GlobalGiving donations as a direct result of the photo contest.

Bit.ly’s statistics demonstrated that the Facebook posts were more effective at attracting clicks than Mickaboo’s emails (the “unknown” clicks).  This was probably because Facebook posts continued throughout the five contest days, whereas emails were sent on only the first three days.

Facebook’s mobile interface accounted for about two-thirds of overall Facebook clicks, underscoring a trend toward use of smartphones and tablets instead of desktop or laptop computers.

Twitter was by far the least effective marketing vehicle.

GlobalGiving’s Website Analytics statistics were informative in a different way, focusing on actions taken by voters once they had landed on GlobalGiving’s website.

  • Website visits peaked on Tuesday, when Mickaboo’s email and Facebook post featured before-and-after pictures of a rescued budgie. This suggests this subject matter was more interesting than the preceding day’s announcement.
  • Donations peaked on Wednesday, when Mickaboo issued a GlobalGiving Project Report and Facebook-posted about a bird rescue myth and an unusually colored lovebird. This suggests the content was better at motivating monetary donations.

Want to Learn More?

This case study illustrates one way by which you can measure and increase the effectiveness of your donor communications.  GlobalGiving’s staff can help you brainstorm your testing strategy – contact us at projecthelp@globalgiving.org.

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